Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek
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What does it mean to live separate and apart before filing for divorce in Virginia?
- Six months if there are no minor children of the marriage
- One year if you and your spouse have minor children together
What Does it Mean to Live Separate and Apart?
If you are filing a no-fault divorce, you will need to prove the date you separated from your spouse and that you lived separate and apart for the required time period. You must establish two things:
- Physical separation. In many divorces, partners become physically separated when one spouse moves out of the marital residence. However, it is possible to prove that you are physically separated from your partner even if you continue to live together if you meet certain requirements that show you are really living apart.
- Intent. You must also show that at least one of you decided that your marriage was over and that you wanted a divorce. While this is often communicated through a conversation, it is best to follow up with an email, text, or letter that confirms your decision.
Factors the Court Considers in Deciding the Date of Living Separate and Apart
You will need to present facts to the court that shows the date you and your partner began living separate and apart. If there is a dispute about when this began, or the judge has questions about it, they would consider the following:
- Whether there is a signed and dated separation agreement
- The date you and your spouse started identifying as being separated to friends and family members
- Whether you continue to go out or attend events together
- Whether you live in the same home and how you live apart if you do, such as having separate bedrooms
Do you have questions about how to prove you are living separate and apart from your spouse? Are you planning to file a divorce in the Virginia Beach or Norfolk area? Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to get your questions answered and learn how our experienced family law attorneys can help you every step of the way through your divorce.
When could my landlord be responsible for my slip and fall injuries?
A Landlord’s Duty to Maintain Rental Properties
In Virginia, landlords have a duty to maintain their rental properties in a reasonably safe condition and not allow hazardous conditions to exist on the property. When they breach this duty and a tenant, or their guest, is injured in a slip and fall accident, they may be responsible for compensating the victim for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
There are many ways that a landlord can breach their duties to tenants that cause slip and fall accidents. Common examples include:
- The landlord failed to fix broken lighting or provided inadequate lighting for the property.
- The landlord failed to repair leaking plumbing or a leaking roof.
- The landlord failed to replace cracked or broken flooring, or worn carpet.
- The landlord did not repair or replace a loose or broken handrail or damaged steps.
- The landlord allowed cracks and potholes to exist in the parking lot.
- The landlord failed to remove snow or ice from the parking lot, sidewalks, or entrances to the rental property.
Importance of Proving the Landlord Knew of the Dangerous Condition
Landlords are not always liable if a tenant falls at their rental property. In order to hold them responsible for their slip and fall accident, a tenant would need to prove that their landlord knew or should have known of the hazard and failed to correct the problem or post a warning sign of the danger within a reasonable amount of time.
Proving a landlord knew or should have known about an unsafe condition can be challenging. Some of the ways a tenant can establish this include:
- Their testimony that they told the landlord about the problem or sent them an email or letter informing them of it
- Testimony of other tenants who reported the hazardous condition to the landlord
- Landlord’s inspection records of the property
- Employee statements
- Photos of the dangerous condition
- Building inspection reports
- Other business records of the landlord
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at a rental property, you need the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney to prove your case and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve. At Tavss Fletcher, we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only owe us attorney fees when we settle your claim. Contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your rights and how we can help you.
How can I find out what caused my truck accident?
How Will a Truck Investigation Help Prove How a Truck Crash Occurred?
You may not know the cause of your truck accident right after it happened. There could have been many contributing negligent actions of the truck driver, trucking company, shipper, and others that caused it. You will need to conduct a thorough investigation and collect evidence to prove your case.
Because truck accident claims are so complex, you should not try to conduct an investigation on your own. It is best to retain an experienced truck accident lawyer right away. Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help determine why your truck collision happened:
- Obtain a police report. Your attorney will review the police report because it can contain helpful information, such as the officer’s conclusions as to the cause of the crash, who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued. However, a knowledgeable lawyer will know this is only one step in the investigation.
- Investigate the collision scene. Your lawyer will review any pictures or videos taken at the accident scene and interview witnesses and obtain their statements. They may also want to look at the crash scene if it appears that the trucker’s negligent driving or a road condition caused your accident.
- Send spoliation letter. Even if the trucker was speeding, engaged in distracted driving, or driving unsafely in another way, lack of truck maintenance, violations of hours of service regulations, or other violations of federal regulations could have contributed to the crash. Your lawyer will send the trucking company a spoliation letter notifying them of your claim and not to destroy or modify documents that could help prove how the trucker’s and trucking company’s negligence caused your wreck.
- Check for hours of service violations. Under federal hours of service rules, a truck driver is only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours before taking a break. Your lawyer will need to examine the log book, receipts for gas and food, and other documents to determine if these regulations were violated.
- Review trucker’s personnel file. Your lawyer would obtain a copy of the trucker’s personnel file from the trucking company. They would review it to determine if the driver was licensed to drive a truck, had medical conditions that affected their driving, or had a drug or alcohol problem. They would also inspect their driving record.
- Trucking company records. The trucking company is also required to conduct a background check of truckers, properly maintain the truck, and test drivers for drugs and alcohol use. A lawyer would review the trucking company records to determine if the trucking company’s negligence also caused your truck collision.
Were you injured in a truck accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Do you believe the trucker’s negligence caused it? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how can investigate your claim and fight with the insurance company so that they fully compensate you in your settlement.
How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?
You may have many questions if you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver. If you are like many of our clients, one of your biggest worries may be about the value of your claim.
Unfortunately, there is no set formula for valuing a pedestrian injury claim, and each case is unique. However, here’s what goes into determining a ballpark figure of how much you can expect to receive in your settlement with the insurance company.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Pedestrian Collision Case
The first thing that you need to determine to value your claim is how much compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. You should keep in mind that you should receive your future damages as well as your past damages if you have not fully recovered from your injuries or have sustained a permanent injury.
You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, property damages, and pain and suffering. While it can be easy to determine the cost of your medical treatment, prior lost wages, and property damages, it can be complicated to figure out your future damages and what you should recover for your pain and suffering without the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer.
Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim
The value of your claim is also affected by certain factors that make your case stronger or weaker. Here are the top factors that can have an impact on your claim’s value:
- Your evidence. If you have strong evidence that proves the motorist’s negligence in causing your pedestrian accident and the seriousness of your injuries, this will strengthen your claim and increase its value.
- Disputes with the insurance company. If you have disputes with the insurance company over who caused your collision or how serious your injuries are, this could weaken your case and force you to accept less in your settlement. However, this only applies if the insurance company has legitimate arguments about their liability to pay you and not made-up ones to deny your claim.
- Your injuries. If your injuries are serious, you will have more medical expenses and lost wages. You will also experience more pain and suffering and a reduced quality of life. This can significantly increase the value of your case.
Were you or a family member injured in a pedestrian accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Call our office or fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how our skilled car accident legal team can assist you in obtaining justice and the compensation you deserve.
Will I lose my health insurance when I file for divorce?
Filing for divorce can be very stressful, especially if the divorce is contested. You will need to resolve complicated issues, such as how to divide property and debts, child custody, and child support.
One ramification of your divorce that you do not want to overlook is its effect on your health insurance coverage. Because health insurance costs are expensive, this can be a difficult issue if you do not have your own insurance coverage through your employer.
Health Insurance While Your Divorce Is Pending
You are entitled to continue with your current health insurance coverage while your divorce proceedings are pending. This is true whether you or your spouse filed for divorce.
If your partner tries to cut off your health coverage, you can take action to force them to reinstate your coverage. Under Virginia law, the judge in your case can order that your current health insurance plan continue until your divorce is finalized.
Your Options for Health Insurance After Your Divorce
Once your divorce is finalized, your spouse would not be able to keep you on their health insurance policy, even if they wanted to. Unless the court orders them to pay the cost of your health insurance as part of an alimony award to you, you will need to purchase your own health insurance coverage. Your options include:
- COBRA. Under COBRA laws, you have the right to keep your health insurance through your former spouse for 36 months if you pay for it. You would need to notify the administrator of the plan within 60 days of the finalization of your divorce.
- Your employer’s health insurance. You could sign up for health insurance coverage through your employer if you have this benefit. A divorce is a triggering event that permits you to obtain health insurance benefits even if you are not in the open enrollment period.
- Private insurance. If you do not have health insurance through your job and cannot afford to stay on your spouse’s policy under COBRA, you will need to purchase your own health insurance through a private company. You may be able to reduce the costs of your premiums through the Obamacare Marketplace.
Are you considering filing for divorce in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced family law lawyers are here to help. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn about your options and to get your questions answered.
How soon should I see a doctor after a motorcycle accident?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to be examined by a physician within 72 hours of your collision. You should do this even if you do not believe you were hurt. Here are three reasons why this is important for your health and for your claim for compensation from the negligent driver who caused your crash.
#1: You Protect Your Health
You could suffer serious injuries—even if you were in a minor rear-end collision. However, you may not realize you were hurt right away because the symptoms could take days or longer to develop. Common long-term injuries that may not be immediately obvious include:
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
You protect your health and avoid a medical condition developing into a life-threatening emergency by seeing your doctor within 72 hours of your motorcycle accident.
#2: You Strengthen Your Claim
If you must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you want to do everything you can to build a winning case so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Getting prompt medical care is one way you can strengthen your claim. It will help you show the direct connection between your motorcycle crash and injuries and may make it easier to get the insurance adjuster to offer you a fair settlement.
#3: You Avoid Disputes With the Insurance Company
Even if the insurance company knows they are liable to compensate you, they may try to deny your claim or pay you less damages than you are entitled to for your injuries. You do not want to give them ammunition to dispute your claim.
However, this is precisely what you would be doing if you delayed obtaining the medical care you need. Common arguments the insurance adjuster could raise are that your injuries were caused by another incident or are not as serious as you claim.
Filing an insurance claim after a motorcycle crash can be complicated. You need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. To learn about our track record of success in these cases and how we can help you, call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.
What are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents?
You could suffer serious injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, in a slip and fall accident at any time and place. If you are like many victims, you might blame yourself for your fall.
However, most slip and fall accidents are caused by dangerous conditions on the property. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident at a business or on private property, you need to know the common negligent actions that may have caused your injuries and may entitle you to compensation from the business or property owner.
Leading Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
In order to hold the owner responsible for compensating you for your injuries, you must prove that they knew, or should have known, about a dangerous condition on their property and failed to correct it. Common ways that a property owner or business causes slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet surfaces and spills. Owners have a duty to clean wet surfaces, such as wet and icy entrances, sidewalks, parking lots, and spills on floors. When they fail to do so, an unsuspecting guest could slip and fall.
- Defects in flooring. One of the most common causes of falls is when a property owner or business fails to maintain its flooring properly. Bulging and torn carpeting and cracked and uneven flooring can create a fall hazard if not repaired or replaced.
- Debris and other hazards. Debris and trash left strewn on floors and electrical cords running along areas where people must walk can be an unsafe tripping hazard.
- Inadequate lighting. When the lighting is poor in a parking lot or inside a building, it can be impossible for a victim to see a pothole, wet surface, dangerous handrail or stairs, or other hazards to avoid a fall.
- Stairs. Stairways can become very dangerous if the stairs are broken and worn, or there are missing or loose handrails. An individual can suffer life-altering injuries in a fall on stairs.
- Inadequate training. Business owners have a duty to train their employees on how to properly maintain the property and correct hazardous conditions when they arise. If they breach this duty, the dangerous conditions discussed above can be allowed to remain on the property and result in patrons being injured due to a fall.
- Lack of warnings. If an owner cannot correct a hazardous condition immediately, they must post a warning to alert guests to avoid the danger. When they fail to do this, they can be responsible for compensating a victim who suffered injuries.
How to Know If Your Injuries Were Caused by Negligence
It can be difficult to determine if you fell at a business or someone’s property due to their negligence. You need the help of an experienced premises liability lawyer who can investigate the cause of your fall and collect the evidence you need to win your case. Fill out our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.
What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim?
You are entitled to compensation if you were injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucker. However, even if you have a strong case, the insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company could deny your claim. Fortunately, you have options to protect your right to damages for your injuries.
Why the Insurance Company May Deny Your Claim
There are many reasons why an insurance company could deny your claim. Some are legitimate reasons, while others are just excuses to try not to pay you. Here are some top reasons:
- Liability disputes. The insurance company could claim that you were partially or completely at fault in causing the truck accident or that another incident caused your injuries. They may raise these issues, even if they are not valid, in order to deny your claim or try to pay you less money in your settlement. This is the most common reason that victims’ claims are denied.
- Policy exclusions. The insurance policy will have a number of exclusions of coverage. The insurance adjuster could claim that the trucker’s or trucking company’s actions fell within one of these exclusions and that the truck crash is not covered under their policy.
- Lapsed coverage. If the trucker or trucking company did not pay their insurance premiums on time, the policy would have lapsed and not been in effect at the time of your truck collision.
- Failure to notify. The insurance policy would have a provision that the company must be notified of your claim within a certain amount of time after the accident. If you, the trucking company, or the truck driver delayed notifying them of your claim, this could be a basis to deny liability to pay you.
Steps to Take If Your Claim Is Denied
You should not give up on obtaining the compensation you deserve if your claim is denied. The insurance company should send you a written notice of the denial that states why they are denying your claim. You should read the letter carefully. Then you should take these steps:
- Hire a lawyer. If you have not already done so, you need to retain an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to fight the denial of your claim.
- Submit evidence. Your lawyer will conduct an investigation into the cause of your truck collision and into the issues raised by the insurance company to deny your claim. They will collect additional evidence to submit to the insurance company and may hire expert witnesses to help resolve any disputes so that your claim can be settled.
- File a lawsuit. If the insurance company will not reverse its decision to deny your claim or refuses to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. You will most likely settle your case at some point in the litigation process.
Do you need to file a claim following a truck accident? Did the insurance company deny your claim? Our dedicated truck accident lawyers will go up against the insurance company so that you obtain justice and the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law. Fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about your options and how we can help you.
Should I represent myself in my car accident case?
If you were injured in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to represent yourself when filing your claim with their insurance company. However, this does not mean it is a good idea. You will almost certainly obtain far less compensation if you do not retain an experienced car accident lawyer to negotiate your settlement.
Five Reasons You Should Not Represent Yourself
You would run the risk of making a mistake that weakens your case or being taken advantage of by the insurance adjuster if an attorney does not represent you. Here are five reasons you should not handle your own case:
- Evidence. You will not understand the evidence you need to prove the other driver’s negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the damages you should recover. You must prove all these elements of your case if you want the insurance company to agree to a fair settlement of your claim.
- Value of your claim. You do not have the experience to determine the amount of compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. You need the help of a lawyer who has a track record of success in settling and trying car accident cases to determine the amount of past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity damages, and pain and suffering you should receive.
- Negotiations. It takes skill to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company because their goal is to deny your claim or pay you less money than you deserve. You would not be able to anticipate the arguments they will make or have strategies to refute them. However, an attorney will know how to effectively handle disputes with the insurance adjuster.
- Deadlines. You must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue, and comply with other deadlines in your case. You could be precluded from obtaining any compensation if you miss a crucial deadline.
- Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, you will need to litigate your claim. You would be at a serious disadvantage if you tried to represent yourself in your lawsuit. You need the help of a lawyer licensed in Virginia who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if this is in your best interests.
Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area? Our dedicated car accident legal team is here to answer your questions and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. Call our office or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.
What should I do if there is a warrant out for my arrest?
In most cases, you would not know that there is a warrant for your arrest until the police come to arrest you. However, if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, violated the terms of your probation, or missed a court hearing, you may expect that you will be arrested in the future. Here are the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
Two Types of Warrants in Virginia
There are two types of warrants in Virginia. The first is an arrest warrant. A judge would sign it after the police collected enough evidence to charge you with committing a crime.
The second type of warrant is a bench warrant, which a judge can issue if you violate the terms of probation, fail to comply with court orders, or miss a court hearing. It is also referred to as a capias warrant if you fail to appear in court. A bench warrant gives the police the authority to detain and arrest you.
Steps to Take If There Is a Warrant for Your Arrest
You need to take immediate actions to protect your legal rights when you discover that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. These are the first steps you should take:
- Call a lawyer. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can advise you on what you should do and be present when the police interrogate you. They can also mount a defense for you—even if you are guilty—that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
- Arrange for bond. If you were arrested for a serious offense, you would most likely have to post bond in order to be released from jail. You will need to contact a bail bonds person to arrange for this.
- Turn yourself in. After consulting with your lawyer, you will need to surrender to the police. It is important to do so in the correct jurisdiction so that you do not have to remain in jail for any longer than is necessary.
- Remain silent. You should exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Any statements you make to the police could be used against you. You should also not discuss your criminal case with a cellmate or on the telephone at the jail.
Is there a warrant out for your arrest in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our contact form to learn how our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can help you achieve the best outcome in your case.
What is a parenting plan?
It can be hard to take the step of filing for divorce, especially if you have children. Unfortunately, the stress and challenges you could experience may not end when your divorce is finalized. One way to make your divorce easier on your children is to develop a parenting plan with your spouse.
Understanding What a Parenting Plan Is
A parenting plan is a legal document that helps divorcing parents understand their joint responsibilities in parenting their children. The plan can detail how many issues will be handled in the future, such as custody, visitation, child support, other anticipated expenses, and how to resolve disputes. Having a parenting plan in place when you divorce can make parenting your children go smoother and reduce the costs of divorce and post-divorce proceedings.
What to Consider When Creating a Parenting Plan
You are not required to have a parenting plan in a divorce in Virginia. However, having one will make things easier for you, your kids, and your spouse. You and your partner will need to develop the plan together if you want it to work. Things you should consider when creating a parenting plan include:
- Your child’s age. Your child’s needs will change as they grow older. There could be additional costs as they go through middle and high school. Their interests and activities could also change over time, which can affect a visitation schedule. It is important to deal with any known future changes and recognize that you may have to change your parenting plan in the future as your child grows older.
- Where you and your spouse live. When creating your plan, you will also have to consider how far away your partner lives from you. If your spouse lives nearby, you will be able to split up your time with your child more equally. You will have to be more creative about a visitation schedule and how to pay for travel costs if you and your partner live far away from each other.
- Holidays and special events. You will need to develop a schedule for seeing your child at their birthdays, holidays, and special events so that you and your spouse get an equal amount of time with your child during these important times in their life.
- Flexibility. You may need to be flexible about changing your parenting plan in the future. It can help to spell out when and how modifications to the plan will be made to avoid disputes and the costs of fighting about the changes in court.
Do you need to file a divorce in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Do you need help creating a parenting plan? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to explain your options and to make your divorce go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.
What happens if I reject the insurance company’s settlement offer?
If a trucker caused your truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the trucker and trucking company. However, the insurance company will most likely not offer you all the damages you deserve when you file your claim. Here is what you need to know about your options if you are not happy with their offer.
Can You Reject a Settlement Offer?
Yes, you have the right not to accept an offer to settle your claim if you do not believe it fairly compensates you for your injuries. It is very likely that the insurance company’s initial offer will be a low-ball offer to try to get you to accept a quick settlement of your claim for far less money than you are entitled to under Virginia law. They may make other offers that also do not sufficiently compensate you. You have the right to reject these offers too.
What Happens After You Reject a Settlement Offer?
You should never accept a settlement offer from the insurance company or sign a legal document without first consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney. A lawyer can advise you on your rights and the reasonableness of the insurance adjuster’s offer. If it is in your best interests to reject the offer, they can notify the insurance company of this. Here’s what else you can expect to happen:
- Counteroffer. Your lawyer will put together a written counteroffer when rejecting the insurance adjuster’s offer. They will include a detailed explanation of the insurance company’s liability to pay you, the seriousness of your injuries, and how much compensation you are seeking. They may go through several rounds of negotiations, offers, and counteroffers before your claim is settled.
- Collection of evidence. If the insurance company raises legitimate disputes about your claim, your lawyer may need to collect additional evidence or hire expert witnesses to help resolve these issues.
- Litigation. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon, your attorney will file a civil lawsuit on your behalf. It is likely that settlement negotiations will result in a settlement at some point in the litigation process.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver? Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to learn about your options and how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What should I do if the negligent driver lies to their insurance company?
If another driver was at fault in causing your car accident, they are responsible for compensating you for your injuries under Virginia law. However, they may lie to the insurance company to avoid liability for paying you. If you find yourself in this situation, take these steps to protect your rights and build a winning case.
#1: Remain Calm
If the motorist plans to lie to their insurance company, they will most likely begin by accusing you of causing the auto collision and by being dishonest when discussing the crash with the police. You should stay calm and avoid arguing with them. You will not change their mind.
#2: Be Honest
If you know the other driver is not being truthful, it is important that you be honest and concise when talking to the police and insurance adjuster. You should calmly explain what happened to the police when they interview you. Hopefully, they will also talk to witnesses who will corroborate how your accident really happened. Then, obtain a copy of the police report to provide to the insurance company.
You should also be truthful and not exaggerate how the collision occurred or the severity of your injuries when talking to the other motorist’s insurance company. You should stick to the basic facts.
#3: Collect Evidence
You should begin obtaining evidence that will help you prove the other driver’s negligence at the accident scene. Important evidence to collect includes:
- Photos and videos of the damage to the autos, weather and road conditions, and your injuries
- Surveillance footage from nearby businesses
- Witness contact information and statements
- Police report
#4: Retain a Lawyer
You will have a harder time convincing the insurance company of their liability to pay you if their insured is lying about how your collision occurred. You should hire an experienced car accident lawyer immediately after the crash. They can collect all the evidence you need to win your case, take over communications with the insurance adjuster, and negotiate your settlement so that you obtain the damages you deserve.
Were you or a family member hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? Is the other driver lying about how it happened? Fill out our online form to learn how we will fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.
When should I settle my motorcycle accident case?
It can be very hard to decide when it is the best time to settle your motorcycle accident claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. You may want to resolve your claim quickly so that you receive your check if you have mounting medical bills and no income coming in to pay them. However, you do not want to accept significantly less compensation than you are entitled to. Here are some considerations that you should consider when making this important decision about your case.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Settle Your Motorcycle Collision Claim
Most motorcycle accident claims settle without the need to go to a jury trial, and yours will most likely be resolved before trial too. However, you should never settle your motorcycle collision case without first consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney who will be able to accurately value your claim and the strength of your case. They will weigh your options with you and help you make the best decision that meets your goals. Here are some of the factors you should consider whether it’s the right time to settle your case:
- First offer. Is this the first offer by the insurance company? If it is, it is probably a low-ball settlement offer they are hoping you will accept to settle your claim quickly. It is best to wait until they offer a fairer settlement.
- Your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries, which is common in motorcycle crashes, you should wait until you fully recover or learn your final prognosis if you will not make a complete recovery. This will ensure that all your future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are including in your settlement. It could take months or longer to reach this stage in your medical treatment.
- Value of your claim. If the value of your claim is higher, the insurance adjuster will fight harder to deny your claim or pay you less than you are entitled to save the insurance company money. This can make the process of settling your claim take longer.
- Complexity of your case. If there are complex disputes that are delaying your settlement, your attorney could need to collect additional evidence, hire expert witnesses, and argue more with the insurance company before they agree to be reasonable. It could be best to wait out the process rather than accept an unfair offer.
- Weaknesses in your case. If there are legitimate disputes in your case, your attorney may advise you to accept a quick settlement that does not fully compensate you. This may be a better choice than risking receiving no money if you go to trial.
- Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the deadline you have to file a lawsuit. If it expires soon, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit for you. While your case will still most likely be settled, you may have to go through the litigation process before this happens.
At Tavss Fletcher, we understand how a motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down and the challenges you face in fighting with the negligent driver’s insurance company. We’re here to help you build a strong claim for compensation and to make the best decisions in your case. Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation to find out more about how we can assist you.
Am I entitled to future compensation as part of my truck accident settlement?
You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver. If you suffered a long-term injury, you could be entitled to future compensation as well as past damages for the losses you already incurred. Here’s what you need to know about the types of compensation you should receive in your settlement and how to prove your right to recover this type of damages.
What Future Compensation Can You Recover?
You can only obtain future damages if you suffered an injury that you have not recovered from at the time of your settlement or you suffered a life-altering injury that you will never fully recover from. Types of future compensation you can seek include:
- Medical expenses. You should obtain compensation for all of the future medical treatments you will need to treat your injuries. This can include hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctor visits, diagnostic tests, medical equipment, and modifications to your home.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you will miss work in the future, you should recover your lost wages, lost sick and vacation time, and other lost perks of your job. If your injuries are serious enough, you may need to find a new job or become permanently disabled. In these situations, you could be entitled to your lost earning capacity for the rest of your working life.
- Pain and suffering. You can also seek future compensation for the pain and suffering you will endure due to your injuries and coping with all the limitations in your abilities to take care of yourself and your reduced quality of life.
How to Calculate Your Future Compensation
It can be complicated to determine how much future compensation you should recover in your settlement. You will need the help of a knowledgeable lawyer to calculate the value of this portion of your claim. They will most likely want to wait until you reach your maximum medical recovery, which is the stage in your medical treatment where you have recovered as much as you can, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis.
Your attorney may need to hire expert witnesses to help them calculate your future compensation. Experts that may be helpful include medical, economic, and mental health experts.
Do you need to file an insurance claim for the injuries you suffered in a truck collision in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our compassionate and dedicated truck accident lawyers are here to fight for all the past and future compensation you deserve. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.
What should I do if the negligent driver offers me cash at the scene of my car accident?
If the at-fault motorist who caused your auto crash offers you cash or a check right after it occurred, you should refuse to accept the money. They most likely have ulterior motives for offering to pay you, like not wanting to contact the police because they do not have insurance or a valid license or are worried that their auto insurance rates will go up. Here are three reasons why accepting money at the scene of your car collision would be a bad idea.
Reason #1: It Would Be a Final Settlement
If you accept the cash or a check and cash it, it would most likely be considered a final settlement of your case. You would not be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company for additional money if you discovered that the amount the driver paid you did not fully compensate you for your injuries or your property damages.
Reason #2: Your Repair Costs Could Be Higher
Even if you think the damage to your car is minor, the cost to repair it could be more expensive than you think. In addition, you could have other out-of-pocket expenses, like repair costs for other property damaged and car rental fees, that would not be covered by the payment the motorist is offering you.
Reason #3: You Could Have Suffered Serious Injuries
Even if you do not believe you were hurt in the car accident, you could have suffered serious injuries. The symptoms of some injuries can take days or longer to develop. Long-term injuries you may have suffered include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
If you suffered one of these or another injury, you could need expensive medical treatments, be off work for months or longer or become permanently disabled, and suffer emotional distress due to your injuries and how they affect your abilities and quality of life. Any cash payment that the other motorist offers you would not compensate you for all the damages you could be entitled to under Virginia law.
Were you injured in a car accident in the Norfolk or Virginia Beach area? Our experienced car accident lawyers have decades of experience helping auto crash victims obtain justice and the compensation they deserved. To learn how we can assist you, fill out our online form or call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
What is the difference between a slip and fall and a premises liability accident?
If you suffered injuries on a property or business owner’s property, you may be wondering what type of claim you have to be compensated for your injuries. Do you have a slip and fall or premises liability claim? What’s the difference between the two?
A slip and fall accident is a type of premises liability case where the victim suffers injuries caused by slipping, falling, or tripping due to a hazardous condition. You are entitled to the same types of compensation as in other premises liability accidents.
Types of Premises Claims
A premises liability claim arises when a business or property owner fails to maintain their property in a safe condition and someone is injured. A slip and fall accident is the best-known type of premises liability case. However, other injury claims that fall under the umbrella of premises liability, such as:
- Negligent security. A property or business owner could be held liable for negligent security if they failed to provide adequate security and a victim was assaulted, robbed, or attacked in another way.
- Dog bite. If a dog bites or attacks someone, their owner could be liable to compensate the victim under Virginia’s dog bite laws.
- Toxic chemical exposure. If the negligence of a property or business owner causes individuals to be exposed to toxic chemicals, they may be liable to compensate those who suffered injuries due to the exposure.
- Swimming pool. Individuals may need to pursue a premises liability claim if they suffer injuries in a slip and fall, drowning, or other accident at a swimming pool.
- Elevators and Escalators. Victims can suffer catastrophic injuries or death in an elevator or escalator accident if the elevator or escalator is not properly maintained or repaired.
How to Prove Negligence in a Premises Liability Accident
If you were injured in a slip and fall or other type of premises liability accident, you must prove that the owner’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. To establish negligence, you must show the following:
- The property or business owner owed a duty to you. The owner has a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner, correct dangerous conditions promptly, and post warning signs if they are unable to remove a hazard quickly under Virginia law.
- The owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and breached their duty of care to you by failing to rectify the problem or post a warning sign.
- The breach of the owner’s duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered injuries and are entitled to damages.
Were you injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Our experienced premises liability attorneys are here to answer your questions, collect the evidence you need to prove the property or business owner’s negligence, and fight with their insurance company to obtain all the compensation you deserve. To get started, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
Can I obtain compensation above the negligent driver’s insurance limits?
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you are entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries under Virginia law. However, this may not seem possible if the at-fault motorist does not have enough insurance coverage to pay you.
Can you obtain compensation above their insurance limits? Yes, you may be able to recover more damages—if you have the help of an experienced car accident lawyer.
How to Obtain Additional Damages Above the Driver’s Policy Limits
The insurance company for the negligent driver is only responsible for compensating you up to the insurance policy limits no matter how serious the injuries are that you suffered. However, you may have other options to obtain additional damages. Here are other ways to recover what you deserve:
- Other liable parties. In some cases, more than one individual caused the car accident. Drivers of other vehicles, mechanics, parts and car manufacturers, and municipalities are some of the potentially at-fault parties who could have liability to compensate you. Pursuing claims against all possible parties increases the likelihood that you will be fully compensated for your injuries.
- Umbrella policy. The negligent driver could have an umbrella policy that provides additional liability coverage if the auto policy is not sufficient to compensate you. Your attorney can help you determine if this is an option.
- Your own insurance. You may have purchased underinsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. If you did, you can file a claim for additional damages with your own insurance company. However, you still need the help of a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly and fully compensated by them.
- At-fault driver. Another option you have is to sue the negligent driver for the additional compensation you deserve. However, they may have no or few assets to pay you. Your lawyer can help you determine if it would be worth the time and expense of a lawsuit to sue them.
We’re Here to Help
If you or a family member were hurt in a car accident in Norfolk or Virginia Beach, our knowledgeable car accident legal team is here to assist you. We will help you pursue all your options so that you receive the maximum recovery you deserve. To get started, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.
How long do I have to report a truck accident?
If you were the driver of an auto and were involved in a truck crash, you are required to report it in some circumstances in Virginia. In addition, reporting your truck wreck to the police strengthens your claim for compensation against the negligent trucker and trucking company and could make settling your claim with their insurance company easier.
When Must You Report a Truck Accident in Virginia?
Under Virginia Code §46.2-894, you are required to report a truck collision to the State Police or a local law enforcement agency immediately in either of these situations:
- An individual was injured or killed.
- A vehicle or other property was damaged.
In addition, you are required to report your name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to the police and the injured person if they are capable of retaining the information. You must also attempt to render aid to any injured victim of the collision. If you are too injured to report the crash right away, you must do so as soon as you are able to do so.
Since most truck accidents result in the much smaller auto being damaged and often involve victims suffering injuries or death, there is almost always a requirement to report a truck crash. If you fail to do so, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 5 felony.
How Reporting a Truck Crash Strengthens Your Claim for Compensation
Calling the police right after your truck accident will also strengthen your claim for compensation with the insurance company. The police will conduct an investigation and write a police report that could contain helpful information, such as:
- Date, time and place of the wreck
- Details of how the collision occurred
- Statements of the trucker, passengers, and witnesses
- Officer’s conclusions as to who caused the accident
- Any traffic citations issued
When you file your claim, you should obtain a copy of the police report and provide it to the insurance adjuster. The report will help you avoid disputes with them over whether or not the crash actually occurred. They could raise this argument if the police were not contacted in an effort to deny your claim.
In addition, if the officer concluded that the trucker’s negligence was the cause of your accident, this may help you convince the insurance company of their liability to pay you. However, they could still try to use other reasons, such as disputing the seriousness of your injuries, to try to pay you less money than you deserve.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our experienced truck accident legal team can hold the trucker, trucking company, and their insurance company accountable for compensating you for your injuries. We understand the complexities in these cases and have decades of experience helping truck crash victims obtain the justice and damages they deserve. To learn how we can assist you, fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.
What is a capias warrant?
You face serious consequences if you fail to appear at a court hearing in your criminal case in Virginia. The judge could issue a capias warrant, which is a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear, and you may face additional criminal charges. However, you may be able to avoid these harsh consequences if you take action quickly after your missed court hearing and retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away.
Penalties You Face for Failure to Appear at a Court Hearing
If a capias warrant is issued, you could be arrested at any time until you turn yourself into the police. Your bond may be revoked, which means that you may have to remain in jail until your criminal case is decided.
In addition, you could be charged with a separate offense for failing to appear at your court hearing under Virginia Code §19.2-128. This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Here are the potential penalties you face:
- Misdemeanor. If you failed to attend a hearing in a DUI, reckless driving, or other misdemeanor case, you would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Felony. If you missed a court hearing in a felony criminal case, the charges against you would be more serious. You would be charged with a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
Steps You Can Take to Avoid the Harsh Consequences You Face
If you miss your court hearing, you make your criminal case more complicated. In addition to facing additional charges, the judge could sentence you more harshly for the original crime you were accused of committing if you are convicted.
Taking prompt actions as soon as you realize you failed to appear in court can go a long way to avoiding these consequences. Here are two important steps you should take:
- Go to court or call the court clerk on the same day as your court hearing if at all possible. The judge could withdraw the bench warrant and schedule your court hearing for another day. Even if there is no longer a capias warrant for your arrest, you should plan to explain why you missed your hearing at your next court date.
- Call your lawyer if you have one or retain one immediately. If you have a good reason for not going to court, such as your car broke down or you had a medical emergency, you may be able to avoid being arrested or having additional charges brought against you.
Did you miss a court hearing in your criminal case? Are you facing criminal charges? Our knowledgeable criminal defense team is here to mount a strong defense for you so that the charges are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.